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Ep 9: TNWG Wine Times - Pop Goes the Cork on 2023! What is Next for Wine in 2024?

⏰ Another year passes (where does the time go!). I'm sure we all have stories from family members telling us that we should 'enjoy the younger years because time flies' - and yet we didn't heed those warnings, desperately wanting to get to adulthood (or the drinking age!). Yet, here we are and so 2023 is coming to a close and this is the last newsletter before 2024.


📉 In the wine world, 2023 has been a challenging year. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) which is many wine experts bible website, suggests that global wine production around the world is 7% lower in 2023 than the previous year, to put that in context, taking it to a 62 year low!


📊 Global consumption is somewhat of a concern too, there are fewer young adults drinking wine and wine volumes for H1 2021-2022 were down 5% - however it is not all doom and gloom, as wine drinking numbers have increased since the pandemic.

 

📈 The good news is the continued strength in appreciating the forces of climate change, digitalisation and globalisation, which like many industries, are leaving their mark on the drinks industry as a whole and driven primarily by e-commerce. If we delve a little deeper in to this, we can see the offerings in the likes of natural wines, canned wines, indigenous grape varietals and focus on local wine production as ways in which this will no doubt continue to develop into 2024.


📈 On the subject of e-commerce, this is set to continue to grow from strength to strength. Like a lot of consumerables during the pandemic, we all became very accustomed to staying off the high street (sadly - I am a big advocate for seeing your local wine and cheese shops!), and using online services for our goods. This has not abated globally in 2023 and indeed a survey out from the IWSR suggests that a third of wine drinkers in the US, Canada and Brazil who do not currently order wine online are open to doing so in the future.


🍷 More closer to home, there is also good news in the UK for the wine industry, with a resurgence in the volume of wine drinkers and whilst not yet at the highs of 2015 again, are significantly higher than in 2021. 


So what should we look for in 2024 from the Wine Industry and from The Northern Wine Guy?


From the industry as a whole I think we can break it down to a number of points:


  • 🤔 Sustainable and Organic global wine volumes increasing in tandem with Regenerative and Sustainable VIneyards.

  • 🤔 Diversity of Wine and Unique Wine Regions - see my Instagram on reviewing Unusual Grape Varietals and Wine Regions alongside previous newsletters - this will increase in my view and The Northern Wine Guy will be doing it's best to showcase for you as the consumer. 

  • 🤔 Digital Engagement and Social Media Creation - we all use our phones and laptops more so than ever before. Further engagement from experts in the field will aid global development and understanding. It is also one of the most effective tools of advertising for wine brands and will be in 2024. (Follow me on Instagram here for my inputs).

  • 🤔 Canned Wines and Reduction in Glass - Recyclability has long been a debate in the wine industry and props to it, there have been changes amidst. Some vineyards have chosen for thinner made glass bottles after testing in a pressurised environment, but the bigger wholesale change has come with canned wines. This will increase in 2024 and my expectation is to find more recyclable materials used for wine consumption.

  • 🤔 Pet Nat and Orange Wines to the fore - In my 12 Bottles of Christmas, I mentioned a superb Solaris Orange wine created by Denbies Wine Estate Limited which will be served with my cheese course this Christmas. Whilst Orange Wines and Pet Nat (short for the French - 'petillant naturel' ) are not new concepts - in fact, it could be argued they are the 'olden day' efforts, they are gaining popularity. Pet Nat wine is one which is bottled BEFORE primary fermentation has finished, so without the addition of secondary sugars and yeasts - a 'natural sparkling wine'. Known as the 'ancestral method'.



🙌 From The Northern Wine Guy in 2024 you can expect:


  • Detailed analysis of wine trends and new grape varietals undiscovered or unloved.

  • Deep Dives into explanations on everything from wine labels and how to understand them to winemaking methods and price vs quality.

  • Fine Wine market interpretations for those interested in investing in the sector or getting my view on timings and what is hot or not. Continued Fine Wine role as an ambassador Vin-X Fine Wine Investment 

  • Trade and Press Tasting information - what wines to look out for, what have surprised and what will age well too.

  • Podcasts - The Andy and Olly Show is into it's 3rd Series and whilst the first two series were solely focused on the UK winemakers and vineyards, we are now becoming more globalised from Swedish to South African to potentially even Lebanese and more. The second podcast is 'What Bottle Is On Your Table, Tonight?' a look behind the scenes at how wine experts, writers and communicators got into the industry and what they have on a 'normal' evening on the table PLUS what they believe will be the NEW MARKETS in wine in 2024!

  • #Drinklusive mentoring - the brain child of Aidy Smith 🍷🥃 - ensuring that we break down the barriers to entry for the drinks industry. Bringing on and supporting the next generation of minds from all walks of life. 

  • The University of Sheffield Management School Guest Lecturing on Entrepreneurship - to aid the development of the next bright minds in industry.

  • For Sheffield more specifically too, a regular Monthly Wine Hosting in the city centre, for all to come and learn about new grape varietals and styles as well as taste in a fun, friendly and relaxed environment with like minded people.

  • Corporate clients - continue to build on the London centric corporate client base. If you are based in Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds or more generally in the UK and looking for client events, staff entertainment or a societal event that is different - give The Northern Wine Guy a shout to give a free no obligation quote.

  • Personalised Sommelier Services - available for wine cellar builds and a personalised wine delivery service in South Yorkshire.

  • Wine Writing and Wine Menu Redesign - for the Hospitality industry, wine menu redesign is crucial when developing food menus and pairings. If you would like to collaborate drop us a message or DM.



⭐⭐ ONE OFF SPECIAL - Last Minute Supermarket Sweep for Wines!⭐⭐


This will be UK centric, so for those outside of the UK apologies - but for those who are worried about the amount of wine they have in the house over the festive period or another family member is set to arrive. Do NOT fear - I have done a quick scout (you can see the video on Instagram) of 3 household supermarket names (Sainsburys, Aldi and Tesco) to bring my recommendation to you and I have summarised them here:


SAINSBURYS


  • Taste the Difference Zurriago Malbec, Mendoza Argentina 2022 - only £8 a bottle. Decanter Rating 90.

  • Louis Jardot, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy France 2022 - £20 a bottle perfect as a white with Turkey. Decanter Rating 91.

  • La Terrase Chablis down from £16 to just £10 a bottle.

  • Chateau Barreyres Haut Medoc, Bordeaux - down from £14.50 to just $10. 


ALDI


  • Buenas Vides, Specially Selected Malbec, Uco Valley, Mendoza 2021 - down from £8.99 to JUST £6.69. Decanter Rating 91.

  • Castellore, Specially Selected Toscana Rosso, Tuscany, Italy 2021 - down from £9.99 to £9.49. Decanter Rating 90.

  • Koolibarra Sparkling Shiraz - if you want a really Christmassy feel to events and a sparkling red wine try this - at only £5.19 right now!!!


TESCO


  • Te Pa, Signature Series Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ 2022 £10 and down to £8 with a Clubcard, Decanter Rating 90.

  • Paul Mas, Languedoc Blanc, Southern France 2022 only £10, Decanter Rating 95.

  • Mouton Cadet, Bordeaux down from £11 to only £7 with a Clubcard

  • Tesco Finest, Stellenrust, Stellenbosch 2022 Chenin Blanc just £8.75.



There will be no markets speech this week, as I think I have given enough pause for thought over the last few weeks and I think it is time for a breather! Although, clearly the word on all Central Banker lips now is CUTS, CUTS and more CUTS for interest rates. See last week's thoughts on what this means for you and I as the consumer.


Lastly, I would like to leave 2023 by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a successful and prosperous Happy New Year!


And on that note I shall leave you with one Final Tip:


🍾 OPENING SPARKLING WINE - when opening a bottle of fizz, in order to drink all of it and not see the cork fly around the room and more importantly losing some of the liquid inside, try the following steps:


  1. Make sure the angle of your bottle is at around 45 degrees.

  2. Take off the foil and it will show you the cage.

  3. The cage has 6 unwinds before it comes off - do NOT take it off when you unwind it - just have it sat loosely on top with your hand resting on it.

  4. Take the cork and gently twist the bottle, not the cork to loosen the cork.

  5. The aim of a successful release of the cork, is to barely hear a noise at all - in fact there are competitions to see who can make the quietest noise.

  6. As the cork comes out, the cage is there to protect everyone in case it has more energy than you expect.



Let me know how you get on! 


Merry Christmas!

Andy a.k.a. The Northern Wine Guy

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